B is for Brassica
Those who know their flowers might be surprised to know that our B, Brassica, is in fact a genus of plants in the mustard family. Commonly known as ornamental cabbage these unusual blooms are not technically flowers at all but exactly that, ornamental versions of the hated childhood vegetable. Their unusual appearance makes them a sure fire talking point, which coupled with their long vase life, make them an increasingly popular choice for customers. Their lush, green, un-flowery feel, makes them perfect for arrangements based around the textures and colours of foliage.
In the language of flowers the meaning of Brassica oleracea is given as ‘profit’ – which as today we no longer send complex coded messages via bouquet (that’s what WhatsApp is for), we could take this to mean that the recipient will certainly profit from a long lasting, unusual bloom which provides visual interest, texture and colour.
Brassica are widely available from August to September, and while it 8s possible to obtain them outside of these months as with everything out of season, stems tend to be weaker and the flowers less robust and long lasting. Brassica are commonly available in purple, green and white, and interesting variations with frayed and textured leaves are also availed during peak season. Stems should be cut at an angle and placed in a few inches of cool clean water with an appropriate flower food, and water should be changed regularly to avoid clouding, and the vase beginning to become reminiscent of a school canteen (they are from the cabbage family after all!)
Brassica are an increasingly popular choice and appear in bouquets, often paired with creamy avalanche roses or gypsophila in more traditional arrangements or with foliage such as eucalyptus for a striking and minimal arrangement. Brassica are also making an appearance as a wedding flower as brides seek more unusual, botanical alternatives to accepted classic wedding flowers.